DW: Supremacy of the Cybermen Review

DW Supremacy of the Cybermen

It’s a “of the Cybermen” double on this site, completely coincidentally. I finally end my run on the Titan Comics Year 2 graphics novels with this, the big crossover event… sort of. It features all four of the Doctors that had on-going comics in this year (as well as cameos from other Doctors!), but they’re all separate and never interact with each other. Oh, and the artwork is awful. Let’s take a deeper look, then!

Synopsis:

Can the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors – each battling the Cybermen alone, on a different temporal front – undo the damage that has been wrought on the universe, before they are converted themselves?

Or is this how the universe dies? Not in fire, but in metal…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

DW Supremacy of the Cybermen 3

I think Jackie has other problems than flirting, like whatever happened to her face for one…

The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) – The Doctor has noticed an odd thing: all of time being rewritten and generally buggered up. As his past selves face the consequences, he must stop the root cause on his own home planet…

The Doctor (Matt Smith) – The Doctor and Alice have arrived in prehistoric Earth to get some fruit for their Silurian friend back in Victorian London, but they may get more than they bargained for, and I don’t just mean the T-Rex…

The Doctor (David Tennant) – While showing Gabby and Cindy a “space train” that leads to the universe’s biggest mall, he notices an odd thing… then another odd thing. Then he’s sudden in command of a Sontaran army! Funny how that can happen…

The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) – The Doctor, Rose and Jack arrive on mid-2000s Earth and see it a barren wasteland, full of death, destruction and Cybermen. Forget Rose’s mum, the whole universe is in danger!

Alice Obiefune – Vastra, The Doctor’s Silurian friend, is longing for some of the fruit of her time period, so Alice and The Doctor return to the correct time in Earth’s history to collect some. A nice story of friendship where nothing else happens… oh wait… no, lots of stuff does.

Gabby Gonzalez – Gabby is seeing travelling with The Doctor in a whole new light as her friend Cindy marvels at her first ride on a space train… It’s a shame a Doctor-y thing like mass alien armies had to get in the way of the fun…

Cindy Wu – Cindy still can’t quite believe she’s travelling in space, but that excitement turns to… joy, when she finds out they’re going to a planet-sized mall! … it then turns to fear as the militaristic Sontarans arrive.

Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) – Rose has no time to process the sights of her home time period on Earth being a barren wasteland, as she soon becomes determined to save her Mum from the Cybermen…

Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) – Captain Jack had yet to visit 21st Century Earth, but it’s not exactly living up to how it was described to him. It’s a bit more… post-apocalyptic for starters…

Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri) – Jackie suddenly finds herself running for her life, soon being saved by her daughter. The whole world has gone crazy, but at least her daughter is safe… for now.

Rassilon (Donald Sumpter) – The once mighty Rassilon has been reduced to a sniveling old man, and due to this shift in personality and the indignity of being exiled from his own planet, he has turned to the Cybermen to achieve his goals…

The Cybermen – One of the few races who survive until the end of the universe, they conspire with Rassilon to convert the sentient population of the universe via time travel, and then move on to the next universe, of course…

The Sontarans – The Sontarans love war. They love the thrill of battle… they don’t like losing, however… although they do at least appreciate their opponents strength. In other words, they’re a bit weird.

The Silurians – Original sentient race that dominated Earth, who now find themselves Cyber-ised by time travelling Cybermen. Oh well, at least they won’t have to go into cryogenic stasis now!

Plus More!

The Good:

DW Supremacy of the Cybermen 4

Cyber-Silurians! … Should look more Cyber really, but I’ll let that slide because it’s a fun idea.

While this crossover is riddled with problems, there were some good bits. The idea of framing a story by focusing on the “current” Doctor fixing something while also showing how it’s leaking and effecting his past is a good idea. The actual scenes on Gallifrey with the Twelfth Doctor aren’t too bad, they’re at least focused and have an interesting ending.

While I hate the weak and feeble Rassilon from the Twelfth Doctor run, I do at least like how this desperate plan is in keeping with how his plans normally go from Big Finish audios and his 10th Doctor appearance. The aforementioned ending, which sees Rassilon come to terms and team up with The Doctor to stop the Cybermen and restore the universe, is good. Rassilon wasn’t always crazy and universe-ruling, and he’d waste no time in undoing his mistake if it threatened his own life as well.

I enjoyed the one-page single stories for Doctors 1 through War, featuring the likes of the 3rd Doctor fighting The Master, only to see his nemesis become cyber-converted, or the 7th Doctor confronting a Cyberman only to find out it was once Ace. All good and effective signs that the timeline is being thoroughly screwed up. They are also clearly done by other artists, because the Doctors pretty much all look spot on.

The Bad:

DW Supremacy of the Cybermen 2

What in the hell has happened to The Doctor?! He looks like one of those jokey meme faces from years ago…

Where to start, really… The first thing that stands out is how frankly awful the artwork is in a lot of places, specifically likenesses. The 10th and 12th Doctors are the worst, with not a single panel looking like either actor.

Then we get to the plot, which for the Twelfth Doctor isn’t too bad, as mentioned above, but for Doctors Nine, Ten and Eleven? Not so much. The 9th drives about a post-apocalyptic Earth with Rose, Jack and Jackie, then Rose gets randomly converted and starts killing people, starting with Jack. The Doctor heads to a collapsing TARDIS and ends up blowing up Earth, seemingly, as Jackie watches on in horror. The 10th takes Gabby and Cindy on a peaceful trip but ends up fighting the Cyber Army alongside the Sontarans, eventually joining the Cybermen to destroy them within after his two companions die in action.

Then the 11th links his mind to the Cyber-Silurians (which is actually a fun blend of Doctor Who enemies, at least) to try and stop them, but it also doesn’t end well. Then, of course, when the 12th stops the problem and undoes everything, we see a panel for each of the three showing that everything we read didn’t happen and none of them remembers the events (apart from the 12th Doctor). Not very satisfying, and not particularly fun to read either, as I knew full well everything would be undone once companions started dying… I mean, obviously, but sometimes they can be interesting in a “how will they write their way out of this one?” sort of way, but this was “well this is clearly not going to have happened…”.

To make matters worse the companions were pretty short-changed as well, especially Gabby and Cindy, who barely said a word and were apparently allowed to pilot a Sontaran craft they didn’t know how to fly because the Cybermen wouldn’t expect that… Well, no, they wouldn’t, probably because it was a stupid idea that unsurprisingly lead them both to die. Would the 10th Doctor really say the idea was brilliant, or would he say it was too dangerous? I think I know the answer… Jackie getting more of a role would be an interesting idea if her artwork wasn’t frankly terrifying…

I didn’t really need reminding of the “CyberKings” from TV episode The Next Doctor. They were super-cheesy and extremely un-Cyberman-y.

The Continuity:

DW Supremacy of the Cybermen 1

Impressive artwork, shame the actual CyberKings are a bit bollocks…

Yikes, well, ignoring prior Cyberman stories and the fact that the companions all come from the other Titan comics ranges (well, apart from Rose and Jack, obviously), there isn’t that much, but given it features loads of Cybermen, Sontarans, Silurians and Rassilon, it’s not like the story isn’t full of Doctor Who “fanwank”, it’s just that it’s not specific fanwank…

This Rassilon comes from Twelfth Doctor TV story “Hell Bent”, and in fact carries on from it directly, showing what the top Time Lord did after being exiled from Gallifrey by The Doctor. Speaking of Rassilon, several different versions of him were made into statues, some based on past appearances (including his “Five Doctors” self, and one statue that seems to be a reference to his Big Finish 8th Doctor audio self)

As mentioned earlier, the giant “CyberKings” come from 10th Doctor Christmas special “The Next Doctor”. In the one-shots there are a lot of Cybermen from many TV and other stories, but the 8th Doctor story features the return of the previously one-off style of Cybermen from the 8th Doctor comic story “The Flood”.

Overall Thoughts:

Supremacy of the Cybermen is… not a great story. In fact as a story it’s pretty poor, it has an okay 12th Doctor bit, and some not-very-good and by the end completely pointless stories for Doctors 9 to 11. To make matters worse the artwork is at best pretty good (well, the Cybermen artwork and the one-shots) but often terrible. Given this was supposed to be a big event, it’s a shame it was anything but…

2 Star Read

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